Thu Feb 21, 2019, 06:45 PM

U.S. Economic Expectations Jump Most Since 2008 After the Shutdown

By Carlyann Edwards
‎February‎ ‎21‎, ‎2019‎ ‎9‎:‎45‎ ‎AM‎ ‎EST Updated on ‎February‎ ‎21‎, ‎2019‎ ‎10‎:‎45‎ ‎AM‎ ‎EST

U.S. consumer expectations jumped the most in a decade, erasing much of the drop during the recent government shutdown and stock-market plunge.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index’s monthly expectations gauge rose to 54.5 from a two-year low of 44.5 as more respondents said the economy is improving, according to the Feb. 5-17 survey released Thursday. Meanwhile, the weekly comfort measure edged down slightly as views on personal finances dimmed somewhat.

Key Takeaways

•The first rise in expectations since October follows the Jan. 25 end of the five-week shutdown and a rally for stocks after they posted the worst December in 86 years.

•The rebound in the monthly gauge is similar to the recovery after a previous shutdown in October 2013, which was followed by four straight months of sentiment gains.

•Meanwhile, the University of Michigan’s preliminary survey of consumer sentiment in February showed that a better-than-expected improvement in the index was concentrated in the outlook. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index is forecast to rebound this month after slumping in January to the weakest since July 2017.


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